Nissan Leaf the Overwhelming Choice for EV Drivers Worldwide

Nissan Leaf

Although electric vehicles (EV) make up a small percentage of the overall number of vehicles, the number of EVs is growing rapidly. More people have become averse to fossil-fueled cars to the point that even hybrid cars are not an acceptable option. For them, EVs are the best option for vehicles that don’t pollute from the point of operation.

So far, the world leader in EV unit sales is the Nissan Leaf. The car recently passed 100,000 units sold since it was first released in 2010. Nissan expects the market to mushroom with a total of 1.5 million units worldwide by 2020.

About the Leaf

One of the biggest concerns that potential EV drivers have is the range of the vehicle as it relates to their driving patterns. For commuters, the 2014 Leaf’s EPA-rated range of 84 miles will accommodate most trips to and from work. This is an improvement over the 2010 model, which had a range of 73 miles.

It also takes less time to charge the Leaf. Models with a 6.6 kilowatt charger can recharge a depleted battery in four hours. Another option available on certain models is a quick-charge port that can recharge a depleted battery in 30 minutes.

The EPA rates the at 126 MPG on the highway; 101 in the city. Since the Leaf is fully electric, this rating is based on a gallon of gas converting to 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy.

Taking Advantage of Incentives

Electric cars would never be as popular as they are if it weren’t for incentives from federal and state governments that effectively bring purchase costs down. Failing to take advantage of these incentives is the same as throwing money away.

The U.S. government provides a base incentive of $2,500 in . If the car has 5 kWh of capacity, that’s worth an extra $417 in credits. Each additional kWh of capacity means an additional $417, not to exceed a total of $5,000 in income tax credits. With a capacity of 24 kWh, the 2014 Leaf easily maxes out this incentive for a total of $7,500 in income tax credits.

Many states provide additional incentives. Florida, for example, allows EV drivers unlimited access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes with a special sticker provided by the state. Insurance companies are prohibited by Florida law from tacking on premium surcharges for EVs. Homeowners can apply for funding from local governments in the state to install charging stations on their property. These incentives differ widely from state to state. Check with your local to find out what incentives apply in your state.

For the moment, the global automobile market is dominated by fossil-fuel vehicles, but environmentally friendly vehicles are growing in popularity. The marketplace provides many options like hybrids, bio-diesel, special fuel mixes, and of course, EVs like the Leaf. Charging stations are becoming more common as local governments are gradually catching on to the idea of EVs.

Only time will tell if Nissan’s predictions for the Leaf turn out to be true or not, but if they are anything close, this EV will continue to lead the market for the next several years.

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